Are county computers being misused?

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Social networking sites like Facebook could be distracting county employees from their jobs, the Chilton County Commission discussed this week.

Commissioner Allen Caton said he had heard reports of county-owned computers being used for online shopping, games and other activities that are not work-related.

Caton suggested that all such distractions be removed.

“If you’re going to do it for one, you need to do it for all,” said Tim Little, county tax collector.

Little said he was not aware of such a problem in his offices. He added that individual department heads should be allowed to handle the problem themselves if the misuse of office computers becomes an issue.

Tax Assessor Rex Cleckler said he wasn’t aware of any problems, and neither was Probate Judge Bobby Martin.

“They go on the Internet and download my e-mails for me,” Martin said when asked about his employees’ computer usage.

While sites such as Facebook have been used for business purposes, Caton said he was concerned about everyday, casual use.

“They’re using it for a chat room,” he said.

Commissioner Heedy Hayes didn’t seem to have a problem with someone occasionally shopping online. He said there was no way to keep track of everything employees do on county time.

“You can’t cut out everything,” Hayes said.

The commission agreed to meet with county data processing manager Matt Taylor at the next meeting.